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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 8, 2015

Fugitive Chinese National Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Firearms Exports

Defendant Wanted for Illegal Gun Trafficking in China Illegally Shipped Firearms, Parts and Ammunition Overseas

          A Chinese citizen illegally in the United States was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to three years in prison for smuggling firearms, firearms parts and ammunition out of the United States without the proper export control licenses, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  YONG GUO, 45, pleaded guilty in February 2015, admitting that between August 2012 and June 2014, he illegally purchased firearms, firearms parts and ammunition and sold and shipped them to people in Hong Kong and China.  GUO shipped about 80 packages using false names and addresses from various post offices in King and Pierce Counties.  At sentencing Chief Judge Marsha J. Pechman said “This was a particularly egregious offense… It was not a single act but an ongoing, calculating plan to engage in criminal activity.”

            “Illicit firearms trafficking fuels crime and conflicts around the world,” said United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  “I commend the work of Homeland Security Investigations, with the cooperation of our international partners, to uncover this kind of wrongdoing and ensure dangerous weapons do not end up in the wrong hands.”

           In two instances described in the plea agreement, in May 2014, GUO shipped ten .22 caliber rifle bolt assemblies to a contact in Hong Kong.  A few weeks later, GUO shipped numerous other parts for .22 caliber rifles.  Both packages had been labeled to contain fictitious items such as “steel blocks,” “toy parts,” and a “canvas bag.”  Both packages were seized by law enforcement.

            “Exporting restricted items, such firearms components and ammunition, without the permission of the U.S. government, is a crime.” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Seattle. “Mr. Guo knew this and made attempts to evade detection by falsifying export documents, nonetheless his scheme was detected by law enforcement. Stemming the illicit export of firearms, arms components and other sensitive military technology is a high priority for HSI.”

            This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center, the Hong Kong Police Force, and the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department.

            The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg.

Updated February 4, 2016